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LRWC secures P3-B loan for casino project

By Neil Jerome Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Hotel and recreation firm Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) has secured a P3-billion loan that will bankroll the construction of a $1.3-billion integrated casino complex along Manila Bay.
In a disclosure, LRWC, through its wholly-owned subsidiary AB Leisure Global Inc., said it implemented a loan agreement with BDO Unibank Inc.
The loan will allow AB Leisure to partially fund the construction of the Belle Grande integrated casino and resort.
“In exchange for AB Leisure’s contribution, it shall be entitled to 30 percent of the fixed yearly income generated from the lease of all commercial spaces in the project, inclusive of the hotel, retail and casino premises,” LRWC said.
AB Leisure will also be paid fees equivalent to a third of the 50 percent share of Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc. (PLAI) on the earnings from casino operations.
LRWC partnered with Belle Corp., the leisure development firm of mall and banking tycoon Henry Sy, for the casino project within the 100-hectare Entertainment City.
Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. will manage the integrated casino project, which will mark Melco’s first foray outside Macau.
Belle Grande will be the second complex to open in the area, groomed as the Philippines’ version of the Las Vegas strip, next to port mogul Enrique Razon’s $1.2-billion Solaire Casino & Resort that started operations in March.
In January, LRWC announced a 200-million stock dividend and a plan to raise P1.75 billion through preferred shares.
Proceeds of the capital raising will be used to finance the acquisition of additional bingo sites, the equity portion in the Belle Grande, the Techzone and Midas Hotel projects.    
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